There's no better time for DC to celebrate its past, present and future than at New York Comic Con. This year, the long-running comics publisher took over the convention's Main Stage for a presentation celebrating its upcoming line of comics. DC Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, artist Tony Daniel, writer Tom King, writer N.K. Jemisin and artist Lee Bermejo stopped by to share their plans and tease the future of DC Comics.
"I've been fortunate enough to work with some of the best writers in the business: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Tom King most recently," Daniel shared. "Each one is different, and I learned something different from each writer. Grant Morrison is very technical," he added. He explained that Grant Morrison wrote two pages about how he wanted Joker to appear, whereas King was "more collaborative."
"For me, the challenge is not how to make them different, but to make them better," he continued. "When I work with James Tynion, I'm already having ideas about what I want to do with the characters... The challenge is real, but it's something I look forward to."
As to how Jemisin, a novelist, adapted her style to write comics, she said, "It was a pretty massive change. I didn't even know what the format was like... I had to teach myself to write in script format... I got the 2000 A.D. scriptbook," she recalled. "That helped me figure out how to issue directions and that kind of thing. So far, Jamal Campbell has been able to figure it out, so I guess I'm doing okay."
"It's inherently science-fictional. I'm a science fiction writer," she said. "Gerard Way came to me with an idea, and his idea was creating a new world within his universe," she revealed. "So that's what I wanted to do."
"'City of Bane' is a culmination of four years of my life, of 85 issues of Batman... and I can't believe that you guys let me tell an 85-issue-long story that's a love story between Batman and Catwoman," King explained. "When I first talked to Dan about this, we decided there would be two themes to the whole thing: Bane is pretty bad... and Batman loves Catwoman... the story I'm doing with Clay Mann... it's going to define the characters and redefine them... This is sort of my attempt to do that Frank Miller treatment of Batman... to look at Batman in a new way in one series."
Of his work on "DC War Story" with Brad Meltzer, Lee explained, "It starts in the world of fiction, in the world of Batman, and it segues into this real-life story... it's beautifully written. It starts with Batman and ends with this soldier... I'm just happy to be back, drawing short stories."
"Those ideas kind of have to come from me," Bermejo said of writing. "It takes a lot more internalizing for me to write... I find it to be really hard work, but I'd love to do more of it."
"The way this started was I did this story called The Vision for some other company, and I got very lucky and it became a good success... and they're making a TV show out of it," King recalled. "And then I met with Dan DiDio and he said, 'Yes, fucking do it for us.'"
"So then I did fucking Mr. Miracle and it won a bunch of awards and they're turning it into a movie," he added. "This is my attempt to do the next Vision and Mr. Miracle and it's called Strange Adventures... We could have done Mr. Miracle 2 but we wanted to be artsy... so we brought in Doc [Shaner] to do something different... I'm trying to do something Watchmen-y... We're doing a series about Adam Strange, who's this Silver Age character... and we're doing it about the myth of who he is and is he real... it's about the difference between truth and fiction."
"When something starts to automatically form in my head, I know it's a story that needs to be told," Jemisin said of her upcoming Green Lantern story, "Far Sector."
"The ring is a tool. It's one of the many tools available to Jo," she explained. "This is a society that could go so wrong potentially, that it could even be a threat to the Guardians... She's using will power not just in the form of the rings."
"I work with really good writers, so I get to have some creative control... I still write... I write almost everyday. I'm pretty fulfilled creatively," Daniel shared.
"The challenge of any good story is definitely fitting it into the continuity... even though the story is taking place in a different place... it's outside of the 3600 sectors... so she's outside of that... she doesn't have any contact with the other Lanterns... no recourse if anything goes wrong... if she does at some point go back, she can fit into that continuity... DC Rebirth was the new hot that thing that was out... even if she's isolated, she's still a Green Lantern," Jemisin explained.
DiDio introduced the DC Timeline. "We're trying to organize our stories in a comprehensive way," he said. "This will be the basis of all DC Comics for the future. We don't know what the future is, but what's happening right now is a high level of planning... What we've done is identified the generations of DC Comics... we're reintroducting aspects of our history back into it... What you see right now is a story that will be consistent."
He explained that reboots happen when continuity get confusing or stop making sense. "Wonder Woman is our first superhero," he said of Generation 1. Generation 2 begins with Superman. Generation 3 tackles Crisis on Infinite Earths.
"It's fun to have these kinds of things... There's a lot of interesting implications that this timeline sets up," Lee added.